On the 39th Anniversary, Survivor Orgs Condemn Attempts of Dept of Gas Relief to close down the Dept.

Press Conference
November 30, 2023

Addressing a press conference on the occasion of the 39th Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, leaders of five survivors’ organizations celebrated their recent victory in making Dow Chemical appear in the Bhopal court. The leaders strongly condemned attempts by the Minister and officials of the Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation to close down the department. The organizations congratulated the artists and makers of the series “The Railwaymen” for a powerful telling of the story of the disaster and its aftermath.

“We are happy that just before the 39th Anniversary we have succeeded in making a representative of The Dow Chemical Company, USA appear in the Bhopal district court. This is the first time that this corporation that owns Union Carbide and hence its criminal liabilities has made an appearance. It is now up to the prosecution, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ensure that Dow receives the harshest punishment for its crimes of Bhopal.” said Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.

Balkrishna Namdeo President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha said, “Union Carbide has been absconding for the last 31 years and now Dow Chemical that owns the fugitive corporation has been summoned in the criminal case on the disaster through our efforts. The CBI works directly under the Prime Minister and we are sending an appeal to him for effective and speedy prosecution of Dow Chemical.”

Speaking on the official plans to close down the department set up for the welfare of the Bhopal survivors, Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said, “We have recently come across an official document marked confidential that lays out a plan to close down the Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation (BGTRR). The plan scheduled to be discussed at the next meeting of the state cabinet, proposes handing over the 5 hospitals and 9 dispensaries run by the BGTRR to the Departments of Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education.” “Through some Orwellian logic, it is being claimed that such transfer will improve health care of Bhopal survivors.” Said Ms. Dhingra.

Nawab Khan President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said, “In the last few months the High Court has reprimanded the Department of Bhopal gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation for grave laxity in following the recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed Monitoring Committee for improvements of health care of Bhopal survivors. Instead of making much awaited improvements in computerized registration of patients, treatment protocols and quality of care, the officials are trying to carry out a vanishing act to escape judicial sanctions.”

“We thank the makers and artists of The Railwaymen for telling the story of the disaster to a global audience. It is indeed heartening to see that the makers have highlighted corporate machinations and governmental apathy behind the disaster and its long aftermath with clarity. We hope the success of this series, encourages other film makers to tell the full story of the ongoing world’s worst industrial disaster in Bhopal.” said Nasreen Bee of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.

Rashida Bi

Bhopal Gas Peedit

Mahila Stationery

Karmchari Sangh

8827218215

Nawab Khan,

Nasreen Bee

Bhopal Gas Peedit

Mahila Pursh Sangarsh Morcha

8717945791

Balkrishna Namdev Bhopal Gas Peedit

Nirashrit Pensionbhogi

Sangarsh Morcha

9826345423

Rachna Dhingra

Bhopal Group for Information & Action

9826167369

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